More Than Just the Essentials

Leah DiPascal

Day: 21 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 21 

1 Samuel 21:9 (NIV) “The priest replied, ‘The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.’ David said, ‘There is none like it; give it to me.’”

Nothing gets your heart pumping faster than a high-speed chase, especially if what is coming up behind you isn’t interested in passing you, but rather plans to attack you. I’m not much of a runner, but running for my life would definitely make me run faster and harder.

In today’s reading we encounter David, officially on the run and overflowing with fear, as he fled from Saul to the city of Nob hoping to find safety and provisions from Ahimelek the priest.

Worn out from the journey and hungry from the journey David asked the priest for something to eat. Ahimelek only had loaves of consecrated bread (the bread of the Presence), which had just been removed from the table of showbread. (1 Samuel 21:6)

This wasn’t just ordinary bread for eating. This bread was made specifically as a memorial food offering to the Lord. It was placed on the table of showbread (stationed inside the holy place) every Sabbath day, as a gift from the Israelites representing their lasting covenant with the Lord. (Leviticus 24:5-9)

This bread was only to be eaten by the priest inside the sanctuary. Because David wasn’t a priest it wasn’t appropriate for him to eat it, but Ahimelek gave it to him anyway. (1 Samuel 21:6)

After eating the bread, David then asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here?” (1 Samuel 21:8a). The only weapon the priest had was Goliath the Philistine’s sword, which had been safely stored behind the ephod in the sanctuary. David quickly responded “There is none like it; give it to me” (1 Samuel 21:9b).

With the five loaves in one hand and Goliath’s heavy sword in another, David clutched his new provisions and continued running for his life. His frantic attempts to escape from Saul led him straight into the hands of another enemy. His next destination? The city of Gath – the hometown of Goliath! (1 Samuel 17:4)

What was David thinking? Surely he hadn’t forgotten that he cut off the head of Goliath. Did he actually think the Philistines would embrace him? David’s impulsive decisions were creating a roadmap leading him straight into a danger zone. In panic and disillusionment, could it be that David was relying on his own logic instead of seeking God for wisdom and direction?

In one of David’s greatest times of need, he could have paused for a moment, held the holy bread of the Presence that Ahimelek had given him and reverently acknowledged right then and there that the Lord was with him. God would certainly provide for all of David’s needs and be his greatest source of strength and guidance. God was more than able to satisfy the hunger pangs of David’s famished soul and equip him for the journey ahead.

David could have held up the sword of Goliath — in remembrance and reverence to God — acknowledging the mighty victory the Lord had given him in a prior crisis in the Valley of Elah. (1 Samuel 17:45-50) A time when all odds were stacked against David and the giant Philistine enemy was taunting and towering over him. God prevailed then and He would prevail again. God protected David then, and He would protect David again.

Like David, we can be quick to rely on our own logic, instead of going to God first for guidance. We can make frantic decisions in haste, creating our own roadmaps of harm leading us straight into the enemy’s camp.

Today, let’s pause for a moment and acknowledge — in remembrance and reverence — Jesus, the Bread of Life. (John 6:35) He nourishes and strengthens us with His presence for the journey ahead. He fills and satisfies us with His love so that our souls won’t become famished and malnourished.

Just as David needed more than just physical bread to strengthen him that day, we need Jesus, the Bread of Life to sustain us. Not just today, but every day.

In the same way, let’s pick up God’s mighty sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17) and learn how to wield it with precision. Let’s strengthen our spiritual muscles (by memorizing God’s Word) so we can quickly and easily hold our sword high when Satan comes to attack us. (John 10:10a)

Holding onto Jesus, our Bread of Life, and His Word, our sword of the Spirit, will provide way more than just the essentials. Securely fastened in our hands and hearts, we will be fully equipped for every good work that lies ahead. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I need You today as I face struggles and trials that are overwhelming me. Help me to be aware of Your presence as I pause for a moment and reflect on Your goodness. Guide my thoughts and decisions. Lead me in the direction that honors You and provides for my protection. Nourish my soul with Your Word so that I can be strengthened and prepared for what lies ahead. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

When David arrived in Gath, people immediately recognized him and started... Read More

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